Weighing the Perceived Benefits of Offshore Outsourcing
There is no escaping offshore outsourcing. Indeed, it is the hot topic currently among corporations and their employees. In its September 2003 issue, CIO magazine addresses the political aspects of this topic in “Backlash” by Christopher Koch. Koch presents the controversy surrounding negative reactions to the offshore outsourcing trend.
A major perceived benefit to moving information technology (IT) jobs offshore is decreased costs. Corporate managers continually argue that “the economy will improve, IT workers will find new jobs, opposition to offshoring of US jobs will melt, and offshore outsourcing will never mature to the point where anything but the most basic development work and maintenance will go offshore.” However, these promises have not proved true. Offshore outsourcing has already exceeded the level predicted by managers, and, as a result, people have lost jobs in the US. Many feel that “the government is not prepared to deal with the prospect of millions of highly educated, well-paid white-collar workers hitting the unemployment rolls for extended periods of time.
There is strong opposition toward the temporary worker visa programs that allow foreign companies to move employees to the US to coordinate the offshore work. Perceptions from the members of The Organization for the Rights of American Workers (“a group of displaced, angry American workers laid off”) suggest, “